Why do you write? Why do I write?

28 Jan

Why do you write? The favorite comment this week was from Ellen:

 I write to remember, to celebrate, to inform, to laugh, and to make others laugh. I also write to practice using adjectives, a skill that I lost after four years of scientific instruction. I sometimes write to vent, although I am considerably less than eloquent when mad or sad.

All that said, I don’t write nearly enough.

Thank you to those of you who posted and/or voted!  I think Ellen makes some very good points.  Especially that she doesn’t write nearly enough.  I think even a full-time writer would feel this way. 

Why do I write? I started with a tough question, didn’t I? I promise they get easier. I worked on my answer to this question for a long time. I played around in the shallow end of my heart first. I wrote down things about writing being easier for me to show my true self, about wanting to leave my mark on the world, and about feeling like I had something to say. These are true, but they aren’t the real, deep, honest reasons I write. My true, deep-seeded reasons for writing are these: I want to use my unique voice to look into myself; I want to encourage the same self-discovery in others; and I wouldn’t mind making people laugh along the way.  The more I write, the more I learn about myself and the world around me. Isn’t that why we’re all here? Maybe that’s a question for another day.

P.S. I journal. Yup, I’m one of those writers. My journal is writing-related and it helps me immensely. Maybe some past entries can help you too:

I may try the picture book marathon I read about. That means I’m going to need some more ideas. Time for a 12 new ideas session.

It is day three of my marathon. It is helping me consider new ideas and feel like I’m accomplishing something. I’m enjoying it.

The picture book marathon has helped me realize something. When I start something (like children’s writing), I’m often too scared to see it through. I’m afraid to fail so I quit before I have the chance. How to I stop doing it? How do I find the courage to fail? How do I keep my children from fearing failure?

One of my friends from high school called. She asked if I have any kids on the way. When I told her I didn’t, she said that it was probably a good thing because I needed to figure out what I want to do. That made me realize that I’m doing it! I just can’t chicken out before I finish it.

I have a desire to be heard. I guess I equate publishing with being heard. Or at least being a validation of my time. I’m losing sight of the writing journey. I have to find a way to return to that purpose.

Today, I find myself checking my e-mail or plucking my eyebrows or Swiffering the floor or going to refill my water without making eye contact with my open binder and empty page…

I like the book I wrote yesterday about a child getting wrinkly in the bathtub and thinking he’s old. The idea was inspired by a quote I found while researching for the book of the day before. I guess it marinated over night and turned in to a book. I look forward to my own children some day inspiring me the same way.

I’m on the 21st book of my picture book marathon and I’m out of ideas…

In the middle of my picture book marathon a potential young adult novel emerged. The topic is divorce. I even already have some ideas for scenes. The store doesn’t seem to want to go away, but I can’t develop it because I’m still playing hide-and-seek with my main character. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

When I get published I’m going to have a “published party.” I’m going to invite everyone who offered support along the way. We’ll have hors d’oeuvres, a book reading, and play some word games. I can’t wait!

Yesterday I wrote a Pittsburgh version of Little Red Riding Hood. I immediately sent it out to eight friends and family and got two responses. I think it is like publishing. I just have to hang on to the good stuff.

I want to have talents that make money. I want to produce things that make the world better. I want to take the risk of writing without the fear of failure. I don’t expect to get everything I want, but one or two things would be nice.

I’ve learned a lot about writing from the picture book marathon. I think more about the sounds of words, realistic dialogue, white space, rhyming, and point of view. I feel lucky to have been able to learn all of this and sad that I did not learn it sooner.

Feel inspired? Join the 2011 Picture Book Marathon by January 30!

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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in Why Write?


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